talking points

White House told Susan Rice to blame Benghazi on a YouTube video

This is a pretty big “get” by Judicial Watch. The conservative watchdog organization filed suit in last summer to gain access to documents related to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. Those emails were released by the organization on Tuesday.

Among the 41 documents obtained by Judicial Watch is an email from then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes to other prominent White House officials that focused on goals tailored around a very specific narrative: blame Benghazi on a video and not policy failures:

The Rhodes email was sent on sent on Friday, September 14, 2012, at 8:09 p.m. with the subject line:  “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.”  The documents show that the “prep” was for Amb. Rice’s Sunday news show appearances to discuss the Benghazi attack.

Talking Obamacare over Turkey

Thanksgiving and Obamacare

It’s tough being a smarty-pants, know-it-all, dismissive-of-logic-in-favor-of-groupthink, 25-35 year old true believer in Hope and Change this holiday season. Because that conservative and close-minded family of yours is about to hammer you at the Thanksgiving table over Obamacare, and it’s going to be hard to hear — and we know how difficult hard things are for you to hear.

But chin up little camper! The machine you believe in has some talking points to toss around in response — with your trademark false intellectual snobbery and Kruschev-like, self-righteous table pounding — when grandpa starts in on what a wreck that new healthcare system has turned out to be. And, lucky for you, there’s no thinking required at all. Just memorization and regurgitation. A common core of policy response, if you will. The Huffington Post makes it easier for you by including all those .gifs you like, and using some of your vernacular.

Emily: GOP Governors are largely responsible for the struggling health care rollout in the first place. And Democrats are wimps, so that’s not a surprise to anybody.

How does she still have job?: Susan Rice tries and fails to defend the White House’s Bergdahl narrative

Nearly a week after she appeared on ABC News’ This Week to try to frame the narrative on the Obama administration’s deal with the Taliban, Susan Rice defended her characterization of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by telling CNN that she meant something entirely different than what she actually said:

Speaking to CNN’s Jim Acosta from the 70th anniversary event to mark D-Day in Normandy, France, Rice said her remark about Bergdahl was describing his decision to enter the military in war time.

“I realize there has been a lot of discussion and controversy around this,” Rice said to CNN about that remark. “What I was referring to is the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That in itself is a very honorable thing.”

“But ‘honor and distinction?’” Acosta asked.

“Jim, really,” Rice said. “This is a young man whose circumstances we are still going to learn about.”
“He is, as all Americans, innocent until proven guilty,” Rice said. “He is now being tried in the court of public opinion after having gone through enormously traumatic five years of captivity. His parents, the same.”

Oh, whatever. Rice said, in no uncertain terms, that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction,” and this was in the context of, as George Stephanopoulos put it, “questions about how he originally was captured and whether or not he had deserted, had left his post.”

Jay Carney: Benghazi talking points “not about Benghazi”

Jay Carney

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the reason the Obama administration didn’t turnover a September 2012 email with talking points for then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is because the “document was not about Benghazi.”

“Why were you holding back this information? Why was this email not turned over to the Congress? Why was it not released when you released all the other emails?” ABC News correspondent Jon Karl asked Carney. “This is directly relevant. Why did you hold this back?”

“Jon, I can say it again and again, and I know you can keep asking again and again,” Carney replied. “This document was not about Benghazi.”

“It was her prep for the, for the Sunday shows,” Karl noted, to which Carney replied, “It wasn’t her only prep, Jon. She relied on her — for her answers on Benghazi, on the document prepared by the CIA, as did members of Congress.”

House Intel member: Two flags flew at Benghazi — al-Qaeda and the U.S.

Lynn Westmoreland

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) held a hearing earlier this month on the controversial Benghazi talking points. Members took turns questioning former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell about the edits made to the document, including the removal of references to al-Qaeda, the false narrative that the attack was a protest to a YouTube video gone awry.

Morell insisted that there was no cover-up of the talking points, telling members of the committee that that neither he “nor anyone else at the agency, deliberately misled anyone in Congress about any aspect of the tragedy in Benghazi.” But some, including Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), aren’t so sure.

Westmoreland is a member of HPSCI and, like others on the committee, posed some tough questions to Morell about the talking points, which, he notes, gave the impression that the attack was a protest. The Georgia Republican, however, wasn’t satisfied with the answers, and he’s moving forward

United Liberty spoke with Westmoreland on Thursday about the HPSCI hearing with Morell. He explained why he has doubts about the former CIA official’s testimony and how he and others House Republicans moving forward to examine testimony and interviews of witnesses in their search for answers. (You can read our story on that here.)

Susan Rice to Serve as Obama’s National Security Advisor

Susan Rice

Despite her role in administration’s blatantly false narrative after last year’s terrorist attack in Benghazi, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice will serve as the next National Secrutiy Advisor to President Barack Obama. And because the post is not a cabinet-level position, Rice will not be subject to confirmation or hearings by the Senate.

The White House acknowledged that Rice would be appointed to the post after Tom Donilon, who has held the role since 2010, announced his resignation this morning. Rice was nominated by President Obama to serve as Secretary of State late last year, but she was forced to withdraw due to the backlash from Senators over her role in the false Benghazi narrative.

In the aftermath of incident at American outpost in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four Americans, Rice appeared on Sunday talk shows and toed the Obama Administration’s line that it was a “spontaneous” protest against an anti-Muslim YouTube that spiraled out-of-control. It was later revealed that Benghazi was, in fact, a pre-planned terrorist attack.

The talking points Rice used on those shows have turned out to be controversial because references to terrorism and al-Qaeda were removed. The Obama Administration almost immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack carried out by an al-Qaeda-connected group, but doctored the talking points to reflect a manufactured narrative nearly two months before an election.

Obama Administration’s Deception on Benghazi Deserves Criticism

During a press conference yesterday, President Barack Obama slammed Republicans who are focusing on the talking points that his administration used to try to set the narrative after the terrorist attack on the American outpost in Benghazi:

Repeated GOP attacks claiming the White House covered up the truth about the September attack in Benghazi, Libya, are nothing more than a politically motivated “side-show,” President Obama said Monday.

“The whole issue of talking points, frankly, throughout this process has been a side-show,” Obama said during a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. “The fact that this keeps getting churned out, frankly, has a lot to do with political motivations.”
“We don’t have time to be playing these kinds of political games here in Washington. We should be focused on what are we doing to protect them,” Obama said. “We dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus.”

The Obama administration initially claimed the Benghazi attack, ending with the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, was the result of an anti-U.S. protest gone wrong.

The claim come just days after State Department whistleblowers testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Gregory Hicks, who served as the top diplomat in Libya after the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, explained that it was clear from the very beginning that the incident was a terrorist attack.

Lead By Example, Not With A Label

“I’m not sure how active I can be in the liberty movement while I’m building my business.”

That is pretty close to what I recall from a conversation over dinner last week, where I was having my brain picked by someone who is “dipping their toe” in the world of politics after previously being fairly apathetic.

The response to my guest was probably not what he expected, but it led us into a great conversation. I told him, “Lead by example, not with a label.”

While that may sound simplistic, I know many in the liberty movement who may as well wear a sign around their neck that says “I’M A LIBERTARIAN. HOW CAN I PISS YOU OFF TODAY?” Typically, these are the same people who cannot stop talking about the evils they perceive in government, pausing only to breathe and possibly to find their original point after they take the conversation off course. Unfortunately, these are the first and only conversations some hold with a libertarian.

Often, these libertarians are so consumed with “spreading the message” that they forgot conversations involve both talking AND, the more important aspect, listening. They have an agenda to push that will not be deterred by their conversation partner’s interests (or lack thereof), concerns, or beliefs. In my experience, this results in a very few follow-up conversations and even fewer converts.

I am guilty of doing this myself, but I sought a better way to build my own team for liberty. What I found was an easier path that is also a better way. By “walking the walk” conveyed in the talking points prepared for conversations, I found by being a positive example of libertarianism, people sought out to talk to me, instead of my constant searching for the next potential target/victim.

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